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I-Team: Sheriff releases personnel file on deputy that failed to report incident to DHR

The WAAY 31 I-Team obtained the personnel file of deputy David Crittenden.

Posted: Dec. 19, 2018 4:37 PM
Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 6:54 PM

The Lawrence County deputy who was fired after a little girl was killed the day after Thanksgiving had a pristine record. The WAAY 31 I-Team obtained the personnel file of deputy David Crittenden.

The sheriff fired him because he failed to call DHR when Jayla Sutton, 12, wandered from her home Thanksgiving morning. Hours later Jayla walked away again and was struck and killed on Highway 157.

Crittenden worked at the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office for only about four years, but in total, he has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience.

WAAY 31 sifted through about 100 pages of documents on Crittenden. Most were his various law enforcement certifications throughout the years. Crittenden had no disciplinary actions against him while he worked at the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

In 2015, a child ran in front of his patrol car and he hit the child causing bruises and scrapes. According to the report, Crittenden was not at fault and he did not get in trouble for this incident.

On Thanksgiving, Crittenden responded to a call concerning a child who walked to a neighbor's house naked. That child was Jayla Sutton. According to the sheriff, Crittenden never reported the incident to DHR, which is standard protocol.

In this letter from the sheriff to Crittenden about his termination, it seems like Crittenden told the sheriff that he had told a dispatcher to notify DHR, but the dispatcher said that conversation didn't happen.

Jayla Sutton, who was visually-impaired and disabled, walked away from her home again and was hit and killed by a pickup truck.

Crittenden said he did not want to make a comment on the situation. He can appeal the termination, but it's not known yet if that will happen.

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